Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

The Bonnie Bucket Bag : : Swoon Patterns

Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

Well, hiya and welcome to 2017!

So? New year…new you?

Yeh, me neither.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve jumped out of bed on the first of the New Year with guns blazing, list of resolutions in hand. I wonder if perhaps the calendar new year, January 1, is poorly timed for those of us living in the northern hemisphere? January…the month that I most strongly associate with the season of winter…feels for me; inward, contemplative and comfortingly heavy. This is the time I think, and I dream. The action….well that comes later. To a large extent, my new year’s intentions are always to feel somehow lighter…you know; less weight, less stress, less stuff…as well as equally airy* pursuits such as greater knowledge and deeper spirituality. In contrast, January is still. Quiet. Grounded. And this I embrace. Like a champ. If only for a month, I savor the dreaming and not the doing. 

Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

That isn’t to say January has smothered me like a blanket. Not. At. All. I have been creating…if not my future…then these warm and fuzzy Bonnie Bucket Handbags!  I’m not sure why…but I could not get the idea of a faux fur handbag out of my head this past fall. Wot up? And what to do? Why, make not one, but two of the furry beasts, that’s what. I rooted out both of these fabulous fabrics from Dressew’s enormous supply. I decided on two purses…it’s like the ark around here…one wild and crazy, the other sublime. I used the same pattern for both…the Bonnie Bucket Bag by Swoon Sewing Patterns.

Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

Up first, the wild one…made nearly to specs with the exception that I printed the pattern at 90%….a little smaller than designed, but right sized for me! I quilted the dark brown fabric and used a distressed leather-like fabric for the purse bottom and strap. {I followed an excellent strap tutorial here from Emmaline Bags.} I omitted the exterior pocket in favour of two interior pockets, one zipped, the other elasticized.

Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

My second Bonnie Bucket Bag, also 90% sized, turned out even better than the first. This time around I tried to class things up with steel blue ultrasuede and a relatively short napped faux fur. I followed the Drawstring Bonnie Tutorial. Basically, you construct the bag, minus the zipper, and then add grommets and a drawstring. In theory, not so difficult. But the thing is…I had a lovely finished handbag….suddenly, installing grommets seemed a bit scary. Furthermore, I didn’t have a fabric punch that worked well on the ultrasuede and I had exactly the number of grommets needed for the finished project…meaning no test run. After marking twelve holes, I poked them through with my stitch ripper and then carefully cut out the circles with a pair of sharp scissors.  I hadn’t bothered to interface the suede during construction {#facepalm}, so that meant ironing on 24 little squares of fusible interfacing before hammering in the grommets. Fun, dat. Most miraculously, things ended well. I can honestly say I honed a few bag making skills and conquered as many fears with my Bonnie Bucket Bags.

Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

I actually have a few several more PDF handbag patterns that I’m eager to try…{Yes I did..I went on an online shopping spree Black Friday weekend.} There are definitely some new skills to be learned when it comes to making professional looking handbags and hopefully…with practice…I’ll impress even myself. But…just to be clear…for right now, I’m content to simply dream about these future projects.

Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns


Bonnie Bucket Bag, Swoon Patterns

And for fun, I made pom-poms out of leftover fur. For each one, I cut two circles roughly 4-5″ in diameter, sewed them right sides together, leaving an opening to allow for turning right side out. I stuffed them with a few bits of poly batting and then hand sewed them to thrifted toques.

Swoon Patterns : : Bonnie Bucket Bag

Emmaline Bags : : D-RingsRectangular RingsCord EndsRivets

*By airy, I do not mean vacuous. Quite the opposite, referring to the mind/brain’s affinity to the higher chakras.



  • Reply Vicki January 15, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    What fun bags! Both excellent and look very professional.

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you Vicki! Handbags are a great accessory when it comes to adding fun to my wardrobe! Happy you think the same!!

  • Reply Vancouver Barbara January 15, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Impressive. Very!

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you Barbara! You have an eye for detail…your compliment is much appreciated!

  • Reply Gabrielle UpSewLate January 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    These two bags are both GORGEOUS – and look so professionally made! I’m completely inspired!

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Gabrielle! It’s fun isn’t it…sharing our makes and picking up inspiration from others!

  • Reply Suzanne January 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    You did a great job Sue!

    And I love the photos : ) Very artsy.

    Everything you makes seems to turn out brilliantly.

    The blue bag goes so well with your jacket.


    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks Suzanne! I love blue so much and surprised myself a little to find that so many of my coats are, in fact, not blue at all, LOL. I was sure the blue bag would go with all my coats….but, nope. Fortunately, it does go well with my quilted jacket! 🙂

  • Reply Shelley@ForestCityFashionista January 15, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    As someone who doesn’t sew, I find it amazing that you can make a purse with grommets and everything. Both are fun, but the blue one is my favourite. Excellent job with the photos as well – you look like a little forest creature disappearing behind the tree in the first one.

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Ah….those grommets were daunting Shelley. But, I’m at the sewing stage where I do like to challenge myself, at least some of the time. I too, have chosen the blue one as my favourite!

  • Reply Carolyn January 15, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Both of these bags are gorgeous!

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you, thank you Carolyn! High praise from someone who has recently turned out several gorgeous bags!!

  • Reply Sheila (of Ephemera) January 15, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    *Jaw drop* OMG, Sue, I want one! I adore that you made matching toques too! These are fantastic bags – I would carry one in a heartbeat. So much fun!

    Happy New Year! My resolutions are usually just little things, like doing my nails with quick dry, or going to bed a bit earlier. I do lean to the “airy”-aspiring things – I thrift a lot of springy things this time of year.

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Haha. Thanks Sheila! They are so SO MUCH FUN, LOL.

      Isn’t ‘airy’ great! It can’t be wrong to be thinking of spring already, amirite?

  • Reply Flo January 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I love them both!!!! You know I’m a bag girl, and these both turned out so well, I can’t decide which one I like better. I hear you on the fear of the grommets, as I read, I thought “yup, sounds familiar!” I can’t wait to see what other ones you make.

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      🙂 🙂 🙂 OH Flo…that’s how we ‘met’. You linked somewhere with a bag you had made…and I LOVED that bag. That post of yours really inspired me! Thank YOU!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion January 16, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Oh my goodness… this is so good. You could sell these bags, no problem. To me for instance. I love them. And you even made hats with matching pom poms. I love matchy matchy. I applaud you for your skills and dare. And those photo collages of you and the tree… brilliant. So captivating.

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Your applause is greatly, greatly appreciated Greetje! I am enjoying bag making immensely, but need some practice if ever I’m to get to the selling phase. Sigh…and good chance I won’t enjoy doing it by that time, hahahaha. But, we’ll see.

      Had so much fun with the photos! I think this park brings out the magical!

  • Reply Louisa January 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

    You did a great job! Bag making is hard work and comes with a steep learning curve. All the zippers, interfacing and hardware – oy!

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks Louisa! You are right! It is hard work with a learning curve!!! Who knew? That being said, I’m in the right mind place to be tinkering around with this kind of thing! HEY…hope to see you soon!

  • Reply fran January 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

    love them and want one. Just kidding.

    • Reply Sue January 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      hahahaha….kidding/not kidding. Right? I noticed the sad condition of your current bag that I made eons ago. Time for another me thinks!

  • Reply Kathy January 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Love these! You’re so creative.

    • Reply Sue January 17, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Thanks Kathy! I’m reading an interesting book right now that reminds us we are all creative. Trust me….I forget all the time, LOL. It’s definitely a balance between practicing creativity {just doing stuff} with seemingly {but not} mindless in between moments.

  • Reply Sharon January 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Fun and practical bags, they both looks amazing and it was good to hear that your reduced the size as that is my main problem with bags.

    • Reply Sue January 17, 2017 at 10:50 am

      LOL…I’ve finally found a big positive for PDF patterns, 🙂 I generally much prefer a printed pattern, but I had a little ah-ha moment when I was about to print this one out. I too, find most bags too large so I did a little mental calculation and decided to print this off at 90% and to do a rough muslin. Turned out just right! I will definitely try this with other bag patterns.

  • Reply Pursuit January 17, 2017 at 10:08 am

    What they said! Beautiful work. I stand in awe.

    • Reply Sue January 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Thank you so very much! I give high praise to Swoon Patterns. Even though it is a somewhat simple design, it is very well drafted. And, the instructions are clear and concise!

  • Reply Melanie January 17, 2017 at 10:43 am

    “Those look like store-bought bags!” – that would have been the best compliment I could give in my youth as so many of our things were home-made. Store-bought was best. But these are even better than store-bought because they are fantastically unique and lovingly made. I adore these bags, and the fact that you made matching pom-poms for your hats. Oh so clever and very well done for a month of so-called low action. Heh.

    I know what you mean about January being THAT month, that pre month almost. But you are absolutely off to a good start. I love the artsy forest shots too. So perfect. You’re a grommet superstar now.

    • Reply Sue January 17, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Melanie! This is the forest where we took the Travelling Yellow Skirt photos. We were laughing remembering how freakin’ cold it was…brrrrr!

      LOL…totally get ya on the store-bought compliment! It IS a compliment, thank you!

  • Reply Hana January 19, 2017 at 7:22 am

    I love them! Both are gorgeous bags and love the idea of matching pom-poms 🙂

    • Reply Sue January 19, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Thanks Hana! I admit…I’m tempted to put pom-poms on everything!

  • Reply Larkinthepark January 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Of course January is not the New Year! The New Year is in September, when we used to start the school year with new clothes, new crayons, pencils, binders, a new grade, new friends and a new teacher. That’s how I see it. It’s a whole new start after summer holidays.

    I, too, was craving a faux fur bag in the fall, but settled for faux cowhide. Bravo on those wild creatures!

    • Reply Sue January 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      LOL…YES! So true for me too! Like, really, really! I often start new things in September…like this blog for example.

      OMG…would love to find some faux cowhide. I’ve seen some cool totes on Pinterest.

  • Reply Annie January 26, 2017 at 6:48 am

    LOVE them both! It would never have occurred to me to connect “faux fur” with “purse.” In my opinion, that won you creativity points before you’d even begun. But the finish(es) is (are) even more impressive. Heavy fabrics + interfacing (before or after, it worked) + inner zipper + grommets = enormous challenge. Well done in every way!

    Have to say I really enjoy your writing style, too. Thanks for the wry humor and the smiles.

    • Reply Sue January 26, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Why thank you so much Annie!

      I’m trying to think where the seed was planted for the faux fur bag. I’ve seen them here and there. Seeing Mainly Dad’s Fur Backpack was the tipping point.

  • Reply Bunny January 26, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Sue, these are amazing! I am duly inspired and thanks for posting that link on my blog. Fingers crossed my effort is half as good!

    • Reply Sue January 26, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Aw…thank you so much Bunny! There’s no doubt….your faux fur backpack will be fantastic!!! Our sewing paths seem to cross frequently…thanks for the inspiration!

      Readers, here’s the link to Bunny’s in-progress backpack…Fur Fantasies, Bunny’s Faux Fur Backpack

  • Reply Heather February 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Both of these bags look amazing Sue!! They look so professional! I love the quilting on the first one. And the pom poms on your hats are perfect! What a great idea!! Also that second photo is fantastic!! (I just can’t stop gushing!)

    • Reply Sue February 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      LOL….thanks Heather! You’re making me feel all warm and fuzzy…difficult to do today, because it’s coooooold outside. Have a good one!

  • Reply Bianca February 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I love these bags so much! The fabrics are ones I would not choose without your inspiration here. I will look at fur in particular in a new way. Thanks!

    • Reply Sue February 9, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks Bianca! LOL…it is a different use of faux fur that has been featured by designers and bloggers recently. One of the great things about blogs…sharing ideas!

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